10:38 AM EDT, March 14, 2013
When the weather outside isn't conducive for a game of field hockey, what happens? Well, H2O, a Harford Hockey Organization team, has figured it out.
For the third year in a row, H2O recently brought home the gold medal from the U16 National Indoor Tournament, played in Virginia Beach, Va., at the Convention Center March 8 to 10. The club was placed in an eight team pool based on their third place finish in a regional qualifying tournament in January. Although they were competing in their toughest pool to date, it was the first time in their three-year championship run that they finished undefeated.
H2O's tournament began with a tight 3-2 victory over Philly Hockey Club. The second game was a 6-2 win over Gottaloveit Oranje 1. It was in their third game, however, that H2O put its mark on the tournament. Playing in front of hundreds of fans and college coaches, H2O defeated a team from the top hockey club in the nation, WC Eagles out of Pennsylvania. They shined both offensively and defensively in the 3-0 victory. Goalie Sydney Rhodes recorded the first of the team's two shutouts and goals were scored by Madie Adams, Cassidy Coates and Linnea Gonzales.
Their next game was against Virginia powerhouse, the Saints. Again, H2O was up to the task and recorded a 3-1 victory, despite being outshot by their opponents. Sarah Davis scored twice, both off Sabrina Rhodes' assists, and Gonzales added an unassisted goal to round out the scoring.
H2O finished with victories over East Coast, Mystx and the Coyotes. For the tournament, H2O outscored opponents 30-9 and three times scored six goals in a game. This year's team featured four players who have participated on all three gold medal winning teams: Gonzales, the Rhodes sisters and defensive stalwart Gabby Karr. Madie Adams and Sarah Davis played on two of the championship teams and this year, three newcomers contributed to the team's success: Olivia Beachley, Cassidy Coates and Jill Jackelski. H2O will continue to compete in a few spring and summer tournaments before embarking on another indoor season.
The team is coached by head coach Janice Rhodes and assistant coach Shannon Swinscoe.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun